Tuesday, 30 July 2013

UNHCR welcomes court ruling on refugees

Somalia refugees wait to be screened by United Nations High Commission for Refugees officials at the Dadaab camp in this file photo. UNHCR has welcomed Kenya’s High Court ruling which stopped the government’s plans to relocate urban refugees July 30, 2013.
Somalia refugees wait to be screened by United Nations High Commission for Refugees officials at the Dadaab camp in this file photo. UNHCR has welcomed Kenya’s High Court ruling which stopped the government’s plans to relocate urban refugees July 30, 2013.  
By LILLIAN ONYANGO laonyango@ke.nationmedia.com
Posted  Tuesday, July 30  2013 at  17:52

The United Nations refugee agency has welcomed Kenya’s High Court ruling which stopped the government’s plans to relocate urban refugees.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) said the government directive issued last December to move the refugees to camps in Dadaab and Kakuma resulted in their harassment by police, detention and extortion mainly in Nairobi.
"Many of them could not move about freely and fear of such treatment led hundreds of Somali refugees to return to Somalia or move to neighbouring countries,” UNHCR spokesperson Fatoumata Lejeune-Kaba said during a press briefing in Geneva.
According to the agency, when the directive was issued there were a total of 51,000 mainly Somalia urban refugees in Kenya.
"Most of the refugees living in urban areas have developed coping mechanisms, and so do rely on humanitarian assistance. There are also large numbers of refugee children attending schools in urban areas whose education would have been compromised had the relocation order been carried out,” the official said.
UNHCR appeared in the petition as a "friend of the Court" and provided advice on the applicable international refugee and human rights laws.
In its ruling, the Court stated that the government did not show that the plans to relocate the refugees would heighten the country’s national security.
Ms Lejeune-Kaba said UNHCR hoped the government will implement the “important constitutional decision” and move fast to resume legal services that were suspended pending the court process.
"These include the registration and issuance of documents to refugees and asylum seekers, which are essential for their freedom of movement, access to social and community benefits, as well as their protection against arbitrary arrest,” read her statement which was posted on the agency’s website.
Currently, Kenya hosts some 600,000 refugees.
The UN has maintained that such a move should be done voluntarily and only when the security situation in the previously war-torn country has sufficiently improved.
The petition filed by legal aid organisation Kituo Cha Sheria contested the legality of the relocation plan in January, and the court ordered the plan suspended pending its decision.
Last month, Kenya and Somalia formed a joint task force to supervise the voluntary repatriation of Somalia refugees.
The Director of the Office of the Great Lakes Region Ken Vitisia said Kenya would lobby for the return of Somali refugees during the regional leaders' meeting in Nairobi this week.
He said the hosting of Somalia refugees has become an unbearable “burden” and that the government would lobby for the region to take a “common stand” on the issue.
“It is in Kenya’s interest that we don’t have regional conflicts because we are a trading nation. If we have peace and stability in the region, it means we can trade more,” Mr Vitisia told reporters.

Mobile firms case confidential to protect ICC victims, witnesses- Kay

President Kenyatta's lawyer Steven Kay said the law provides for confidential filings and his case against Safaricom and Airtel was to protect the identity of witnesses and victims in the ICC case against President Kenyatta July 30, 2013. FILE 
President Kenyatta's lawyer Steven Kay said the law provides for confidential filings and his case against Safaricom and Airtel was to protect the identity of witnesses and victims in the ICC case against President Kenyatta July 30, 2013. FILE  
By PAUL JUMA pjuma@ke.nationmedia.com
Posted  Tuesday, July 30  2013 at  15:49
President Kenyatta’s British lawyer Steven Kay has denied reports that he filed "secret" petitions against Kenya’s leading telecoms Safaricom and Airtel.
In a statement sent to the Nation by his lawyer, Kennedy Ogeto, Mr Kay says that the law provides for confidential filings “and not secret ones”.
“The proceedings were permitted to be filed confidentially after the applicant (Mr Kay) established appropriate legal basis in order to protect the identity of witnesses and victims in the ICC case against President Kenyatta.
"There is nothing extra-ordinary about the confidential filing as Kenyan law including the Witness Protection Act, the International Crimes Act and the Rome Statute permit such filings,” Mr Ogeto says in the statement.
The same happens at the ICC that routinely permits confidential filings for the same reason, according to the lawyer.
The Judiciary has also defended its handling of the petitions, arguing that proceedings can at times be conducted in-camera in the interest of justice.
“The Judiciary would like to inform members of the public that information of the case in question before the Constitutional Division and Human Rights Division will be released after conclusion of the case and only if it does not affect the integrity of the on going trials at The Hague,” Judiciary Chief Registrar Gladys Shollei, has said in a news release.
“Whereas the general principle of conducting open and public hearings is a well grounded in our judicial system, there are exceptions where the interest of justice so dictate.
“This practice is not limited to our judicial system or to the common law jurisdictions but is practiced by other international tribunals,” she said.
Earlier Tuesday, the media and the public were ordered to leave court as proceedings in Mr Kay's case began.

What is fuelling school strikes in Uganda?

Students of Mbarara High School and Ntare School 
Students of Mbarara High School and Ntare School who were arrested and held at Mbarara Central Station.  

Posted  Thursday, July 25  2013 at  01:00
It is that time of the school year when reading a newspaper without reports of a school strike would actually be strange. In fact, on the Jinja College students Facebook page, one student jokes that that the Ministry of Education and Sports should legalise school strikes and makes them part of the second term syllabus.
After all, the post by a one Jude Mwima argues, “from Syria to Egypt, Kacita to teachers, strikes are the new language that decision makers understand best.”
More than 15 schools across the country have had their school operations paralysed by student-led strikes, occurring in what could be described as a ripple trend. Most of these have ended up in “closure till further notice” by the line ministry. In Jinja alone for example, the storm started with Kiira College, Butiki, spread to Busoga College, Mwiri and only days ago, Jinja College. All these are government aided boys’ schools and arguably eastern Uganda’s giants in their own right. The momentum has since picked pace across the country, with pockets of student uprisings in the central region and western Uganda. The northern region has not reported major cases of the same.
So, what is fuelling these strikes? Why are they prevalent in second term and more so in the eastern and western regions of the country? Could some political mischief be at play? Is it a case of strained student-teacher communication or just a generational question on the part of the students?
The questions cannot get more rhetorical as Mr John Agaba, the Acting Commissioner, Basic and Secondary Education admits the ministry too, remains baffled.
“We have started investigations with eastern Uganda to get to the root of the problem. But why are these strikes always in second term? It is because these fellows fear mock exams so they cause havoc and of course second term is the longest, ” he says. We look at other reasons given.
Unruly students
For Mr Agaba, the blame starts and ends with the students. “Imagine a school like Kitagata SS in Bushenyi where students went on strike after a trip claiming they didn’t get value for money,” he adds. “In Jinja College they striked [sic] because they were told to read hard, they got angry with the Deputy Headmaster calling him harsh for that but why did they go to school?” This, he is convinced, is the reason the strikes rage on in small schools. “You don’t find them in elite schools where students know what they want and their parents value education.”
However, it should be appreciated that the schools in Jinja for instance, that went on strike this term are arguably the crème-de la crème in the region.
Mr Humphrey Ahimbisibwe, the former Headmaster of Ntare School says, “These are not strikes but riots. Those are undisciplined children who lack patience. There is a lot of emphasis on their rights and we forget the responsibilities then the ministry comes out quickly to blame school administrators.”
The educationist who retired last year, having presided over a period of some of Ntare’s infamous strikes blames the global political atmosphere too.
“Everywhere people are striking to get answers and change so these students have no good examples to learn from,” he shares.
Potent problems
Micheal Miyingo, a former head prefect at Kiira College, Butiki and now at a Malaysian university says, “School administrations just don’t listen and keep giving empty promises and the only language they understand is strikes. They have conditioned students to take strikes as the only practical way out for change.”
Once at the front line of a strike, Miyingo opines that the problem starts and ends with breakdown in communication between teachers and students.
Mr Francis Agula, the acting Commissioner secondary education in the Ministry of Education and Sports states, “It is a multi-dimensional problem because many schools are facing a lot of problems. The headmasters are failing to put in place what is expected of a school. We have just had athletics but some schools could not facilitate students and this angers them.”
Attributing this to financial constraints, Agula reveals, “the Ministry of Finance in the financial year 2012/13 released funds ahead of time and most schools thought the money would go in every term. Money for the other quarters was advanced at once. We alerted them that if you fail to plan for this money you are going to be in the trouble.”
So has the trouble that the ministry warned of started biting?
“Some teachers are using these students because their PTA allowance was scrapped in some schools. What they forget is that those allowances are not a right but a privilege. Once you have got your salary which comes in time, go and teach,” Agaba says, adding, “But what business do students have demanding for teachers’ allowances? Theirs is to study and not strike under teachers’ influence.”
In Busoga College Mwiri, students who spoke to the press premised their strike on the school’s declining academic standards with the former giant contributing only three students to this year’s public universities under the government sponsorship scheme. This, the enraged students argued, is because their teachers are not delivering.
Mr Agula admits, “It is true we have a shortage of teachers. In the recent past we had only 600 government schools but now they are over 1,300. So the teachers especially for science subjects find themselves teaching in many schools and failing to meet the students’ expectations. The result is strikes.”
A senior six student from Jinja College, who preferred anonymity agrees, “Imagine our teachers have to go for regular lessons in private schools in Kampala, they have no time for us because the money they get makes students in schools like Kitende a priority.
When we strike, they say we don’t know what we want but we are saying we also want to pass like those in schools where our teachers moonlight.”
Agula is quick to tie the situation to inflation which he argues has disfigured school budgets.
“Head teachers budgeted for specific prices but prices of goods have risen so when you hear students talking of our rights it doesn’t make sense.” On top of this, he explains, “School administrations have failed to collect fees from parents, may be because of poverty but it is a crisis and schools cannot provide services.” One teacher in a school in Jinja, who preferred anonymity said that by the time the students went on strike, more than half of them had not cleared the fees to zero balance.
Politics at play
Man is naturally a political animal and educationists point to the same in the prevalent strikes. Mid last year, Mr Daudi Hasahya Mulongo, then Headmaster Kiira College, Butiki blamed the strike on, “people who want my job and are just using students.” He has since been transferred to Manjasi High School in Tororo.
“Some times it is just intrigue within the administrators, some clamouring for the big man’s job and others are teachers in other schools eyeing the same job and fuelling strikes to pave their way,” Ahimbisibwe ays.
Moral and generational issues abound
Ms Juliet Muwanguzi, a counsellor and teacher of literature in English at Kiira College, Butiki says, “There is a bit of laxity.
These kids have their own high expectations. They have their own perception of their human rights and freedoms. When leaders come up to intervene they reject that old time direction and define their own direction. It is a generational problem that calls for prayer and better parenting.”
Similarly, Ahimbisibwe in trying to explain why the strikes are centred in the eastern and western parts of the nation says, “It goes back to our value chain systems. To be frank with you, students in Buganda are well groomed, you won’t find a Muganda child throwing stones at an elder. In the west they will throw stones at the Headmaster’s car! Some even tell you they know ‘big’ people in government.”
Agula too explains through the same moralist lens, “Students in the west and east have not gone through much suffering. A student in the north knows should the school close, an opportunity to study is gone. The same reason you find strikes in Busoga and rarely hear of them in Teso where children have suffered.”
The psychology of a strike
It has always been observed that the everyday issues that keep coming up when schools go on strike like poor quality food, an incompetent administrations are a manifestation of several cumulative and underlying factors. According to Mr Henry Nsubuga, the Manager Makerere University Counselling and Guidance Centre, “Often times these strikes erupt when students feel they are pushed against the wall, they feel nobody listens to them and their complaints or ideas fall on deaf ears. In that case the only way to prove their point is by going violent, especially if they are convinced it will work.”
Bad examples from society
No doubt society is getting more polarised, the language of strikes and violence is spreading across the world. This trend of events, Nsubuga explains, gives students, who are arguably at the most vibrant and radical stages of their life, the impression that borrowing a leaf from those who achieve change through violence will work in their own situations.
“We [humans] are influenced by what we see, there is that tendency to copy and try out what we see to solve our own challenges, that is why you find in one region or district, schools going on strike in a successive order. They [students] imagine they too can achieve what their peers on the other end achieved by going violent regardless of unique circumstances,” Nsubuga asserts.
Peer pressure
For some, however, the conviction to throw stones and hurl threatening slogans does not have to be induced by violent scenes from Syria or Egypt. It takes the influence of fellow students to get them towing the line of strikes. “It could be a question of peer influence; as human beings we tend to conform. Some of those students, especially the gullible ones take part in strikes out of peer pressure even when they have no conviction in the cause. Group influence has such a big impact on how they perceive situations at school and eventually react,” the counselling psychologist notes.
What runs in their mind?
The motivation to go on strike, he observes, determines what runs in the mind of that student on strike and their behaviour during the same.
“If the student is motivated by genuine conviction, say really pertinent issues that touch him, he will be extremely bitter but with the mind and actions geared towards achieving positive change or making their point. But for one who has just been influenced, they will tend to act recklessly and with excitement,” he says.
Explaining the trend
On why the trend of these strikes tends to be concentrated in up-country schools in the east and west, Nsubuga attributes this to the human tendency to draw comparisons and contrasts. Students in the central region for instance, where strikes are rare, are arguably better off than their upcountry peers in terms of quality of services offered.
“If I may, I can compare schools in central to the western world and those upcountry to third world countries, you notice that the western world does not take issues of welfare for granted, citizens (in this case students and parents) are actively involved in decision making unlike in the third world,” he says, adding, ”so these students up-country compare themselves to their peers elsewhere and demand for the same services at all costs. It is a really a question of psychology.” 
Schools whose students went on strike this term
Busoga College Mwiri, Jinja
St. John Bosco Wakitaka Jinja
Jinja College
MM College, Wairaka Jinja
Comboni Secondary School, Bushenyi
Kitagata SS Mitooma
Kashaka Girls School Mbarara
Mutolere SS-Kisoro
Eden International School-Mbarara
Muntuyera High School-Ntungamo
Kyeizooba Girls School-Bushenyi
Bassajabalaba SS Bushenyi
Preventing strikes
Ms Victoria Kisarale, the headmistress of Gayaza High School shares her success story on keeping strikes at bay. “Communication is very critical, I tell my girls whenever I am travelling, the purpose and when I will return. At the start of the year I got complaints from the suggestion box about bad beans. I called an assembly and apologised. I heartily apologise to them and they know I am not doing it for the sake.”
She adds that the school administrators have established structures where student leaders meet them every Tuesday and either party is called to account with an appreciable degree of honesty and openness.
Kisarale believes, “These students are the primary consumers of our services so we have to be open with them. I break down the school budget and plans every term so they feel involved and part of the system. That way you cannot expect them to strike.”

Abambowa: The men who protect the Kabaka

Abambowa: The men who protect the Kabaka 
Christopher Nalima, 2nd left, with some of the king’s guards. Courtesy Photo.  
By Farahani Mukisa

Posted  Tuesday, July 30  2013 at  00:00
At his age, one would expect him to be retired, or working, but only involved in simple tasks such as tending his compound and little gardens.
But Christopher Nalima is not doing any of that. In his early 70s, the head of Kabaka’s royal guards (Ssabambowa) is actively involved in his job.
The strong urge to ensure the Kabaka’s safety, has made him overlook his age’s demand for him to slow down. And his service to Kabaka dates 15 years back.
“My pride rests in the protection of the Kabaka, princes and princesses, wherever they go although that has since changed with modern times,” says Nalima. “Our main focus nowadays is the king’s security.”
The legacy of the bambowa dates back to the reign of Kabaka Kimera, who felt his aides were not doing their duty well and so he wanted someone to supervise them and take responsibility for his life.
Nalima tells the story: “One day, during a tour of the counties in the Buganda region, an aide carrying Kimera’s water calabash wronged him and the king instructed him to move forward for cautioning.”
“When he returned to regain his position as the Kabaka’s water carrier, after serving a short punishment, he could not get back the water calabash (ekita kyamazzi) since he had wronged the king.
Another carrier, Wakkonyi took over the water calabash and Kimera was pleased with the protection Wakkonyi had shown, thus the king told people within the vicinity that from then onwards, he (Wakkonyi) would be his Ssabambowa (chief guard) and was required to train more royal guards under his guardianship.” That is how the role of bambowa started.
Out of the 53 clans, the Lugave was the first to hold the highly esteemed position of Kabaka guardianship.
Nalima adds that all that glory was lost during the reign of former president Milton Obote.
However, before the turbulent moments Uganda went through, bambowa were culturally rooted in their norms, right from their dressing code and public conduct, to how they were equipped.
Norms (obulombolombo)
Traditionally, the royal guards wear traditional regalia of backcloth called kanzumingi. But to differentiate the commander from the corporals, he wears a white ring of beads around his head.
Nalima says while on duty, a royal guard, must be equipped with a spear (modern-day gun), war-shield, a top-curved panga (zinzimiya), and a rope (used to handcuff).
“As part of our preparations, we neither take tea, drink, nor eat food before duty, for fear of putting Kabaka’s security at risk incase we want to go to the toilet,” he says.
“We do that after duty performance.”
According to Nalima, wherever the Kabaka decides to go, the bambowa have to accompany him. “We keep his way open and spare nobody if we sense any anomalies to his highness’ safety, no matter who stands in our way,” he says.
Although he says the job is a tiresome one, the zeal to serve the kingdom keeps their strength up.
“Ideally, we are supposed to be appreciated, in order to meet our obligations as humans. But that has in actual sense not happened and that is our call to the king,” he said.
Changing and challenging times
With the changes both in political and cultural circles, the role of royal guards has since changed, although, according to Nalima, the change has come with many problems.
Nalima says Obote’s expulsion of King Edward Mutesa II was a big blow to the kingdom. All their cultural norms were disrupted, including the pillar position that royal guards enjoyed at the palace.
Years ago, royal guards did perform several duties which also included waking up the king, keeping his gifts, supplying news to Kabaka and keeping his food.
But since the restoration of the Buganda Kingdom, the roles have since reduced to only protecting the Kabaka.
“Culturally, nobody is supposed to come near the Kabaka, be it the army or ordinary people. It is the royal guards who should be at his sides But today, our role has been militarised and the cultural royal guards have been marginalised to appear as if they do not exist,” Nalima says.
With the Kabaka being the supreme head of the 52 clans (now made 53), Nalima says each clan contributes to the security of the king. And for that matter, the royal guards are 53.
“The idea of restoring the bambowa glory came up during the preparations of the Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi’s magnificent wedding in 1999,” says Nalima.
“I was assigned to make a selection from the clans and we trained 53 of them. But today, I am only left with one, all the others retreated to their personal businesses for survival. But if their duty can be recognised, most are willing to resume it.”

Former Vice President Adrisi lies in state in Parliament

Former Vice President Adrisi lies in state in Parliament 
The coffin carrying the body of General Mustafa Adrisi in Parliament. The body of former Vice President was on Tuesday morning received at Parliament to lie in state for public viewing. General Adrisi died on Sunday, July 28. Photo by Olive Nakattude (Uganda Radio Network).  
By Agencies

Posted  Tuesday, July 30  2013 at  10:51
The body of former Vice President General Adrisi Mustafa was on Tuesday morning received at Parliament to lie in state for public viewing.
General Adrisi died on Sunday morning at Mulago National Referral Hospital where he was being treated for hypertension, diabetes and a fracture in his right leg. He is believed to have died at 87.
General Adrisi’s body arrived at 8 am and was received in the Parliamentary lobby at 8:30 am by Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah and Deputy Prime Minister Moses Ali.
The two were flanked by Kasese woman MP Winnie Kizza, Junior Public Service Minister Seezi Mbagutta and Junior Internal Affairs Minister James Baba.
Contrary to Muslim religion dictates – General Adrisi was Muslim – his body was carried into the Parliamentary lobby in a coffin, not a Jeneza in which Muslims are carried before burial.
General Adrisi served as Vice President from 1977-1978 during former President Idi Amin Dada’s regime. Once believed to be one of Amin's closest advisors, he later fell out with the President. It is alleged that, as a result of this, Amin tried to have his former Vice President killed in a faked motor car accident.
A special sitting is scheduled at Parliament later this morning for legislators to pay tribute to the fallen General.

Mandela 'continues to show improvement': presidency

This picture taken on July 19, 2013 shows well-wishing messages left for former South African President Nelson Mandela outside the Medi Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria. Nelson Mandela continues to show signs of improvement after two months of hospital treatment, the South African presidency said July 30, 2013. AFP 
This picture taken on July 19, 2013 shows well-wishing messages left for former South African President Nelson Mandela outside the Medi Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria. Nelson Mandela continues to show signs of improvement after two months of hospital treatment, the South African presidency said July 30, 2013. AFP 
Posted  Tuesday, July 30   2013 at  12:00
Nelson Mandela continues to show signs of improvement after two months of hospital treatment, the South African presidency said Tuesday, but gave no details of his condition after reported scares.
"Former president Nelson Mandela still remains in a critical but stable condition in hospital in Pretoria, and continues to show improvement," it said in a statement.
The update was issued after US network CBS reported that Mandela underwent a" surgical procedure to unblock a dialysis tube" and had two scares in recent weeks.
"On one occasion Nelson Mandela was not responding to his meds (medicines), and on another his life support machine showed him in distress."
The government refused to comment on the reports.
But since being rushed to hospital on June 8, the 95-year-old Nobel peace laureate has at time appeared to be at serious risk.
Friends and family said he has been breathing with the aid of a ventilator and had undergone dialysis.
President Jacob Zuma urged the public to "continue praying for Madiba," using Mandela's clan name, and taking part in community projects that will take forward his work.
Mandela's 95th birthday earlier this month was marked in South Africa by an outpouring of charitable deeds, with many people offering 67 minutes of service for the 67 years he was in public service.

Amnesty criticises move to amend police laws

Inspector General David Kimaiyo speaks during a press conference in Nairobi March 5, 2013. Human rights violations will worsen if the government goes ahead with attempts to amend key laws meant to regulate the country’s police force, a watchdog has warned July 30, 2013. FILEInspector General David Kimaiyo speaks during a press conference in Nairobi March 5, 2013. Human rights violations will worsen if the government goes ahead with attempts to amend key laws meant to regulate the country’s police force, a watchdog has warned July 30, 2013. FILE   NATION MEDIA GROUP
By PETER OBUYA potieno@ke.nationmedia.com
Posted  Tuesday, July 30   2013 at  10:31
Human rights violations will worsen if the government goes ahead with attempts to amend key laws meant to regulate the country’s police force, a watchdog has warned.
Amnesty International (AI) on Tuesday warned that amendments proposed by Inspector General David Kimaiyo to the police reform package, which has got the approval of Interior and National Coordination Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku, will severely water down the reforms and eliminate the safeguards created to discipline and regulate the force.
"Police reforms are vital for Kenya and it would be disastrous if they get diluted at the eleventh hour,” said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Africa.
"The police have been acting as if they are above the law for years and the government must honour the commitments it made in the wake of the post-election violence and carry through these essential reforms,” she added.
The National Police Service (Amendment) Bill 2013 and the National Police Service Commission (Amendment) Bill 2013, which are meant to clarify the responsibilities of the IG and that of the National Police Service Commission (NPSC) give the police boss more powers.
Political interference
The two Bills are likely to be tabled in Parliament this week. However, AI has warned that such a move would place the powers of the police at greater risk of political interference.
The police boss will not be obliged to act on the recommendations of an oversight authority if the two Bills receive Parliament’s nod.
The NPS Act required the police boss to act on the recommendations of the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA), including compensation to victims of police misconduct.
However, that section has been deleted in the proposed amendments and the watchdog now says the move could present serious setbacks to the reforms.
“This really is a case of one step forward, two steps back. What promised to be a badly needed shake up is unlikely to deliver on the key goal of a professional and accountable police service that is free of government interference,” said Mrs Jackson.

Media and public locked out of Safaricom, Airtel case

Lawyer Evans Monari (centre) is seen leaving the Milimani Law Courts. He attended the hearing of Steven Kay's case against Safaricom, Airtel July 30, 2013. PAUL JUMA 
Lawyer Evans Monari (centre) is seen leaving the Milimani Law Courts. He attended the hearing of Steven Kay's case against Safaricom, Airtel July 30, 2013. PAUL JUMA
Justice Isaac Lenaola during a past hearing. The media and the public have been ordered to leave court as proceedings in a case filed by President Kenyatta's lawyer against two mobile firms began July 30, 2013. FILE 
Justice Isaac Lenaola during a past hearing. The media and the public have been ordered to leave court as proceedings in a case filed by President Kenyatta's lawyer against two mobile firms began July 30, 2013. FILE  NATION MEDIA GROUP
Posted  Tuesday, July 30   2013 at  09:56

The media and the public have been ordered to leave court as proceedings in a case filed by President Kenyatta's lawyer against two mobile firms began Tuesday.
High Court judge Isaac Lenaola made the order before President Kenyatta's lawyer Steven Kay started his submissions.
Lawyer Evans Monari attended the hearing.
Mr Kay has filed "confidential" lawsuits against Safaricom and Airtel, the two leading mobile telephone service providers in the country.
In the case, Mr Kay, a Queens Counsel who is part of Mr Kenyatta’s defence team at the International Criminal Court (ICC), is seeking access to unspecified information from the two companies.
The first case against Safaricom was filed at the High Court on Friday before Justice David Majanja and the second against Airtel was filed Monday before Justice Lenaola.
President Kenyatta and his deputy, Mr William Ruto, are set to stand trial at the ICC later this year. They face crimes against humanity charges stemming from the 2007/8 post-election violence. Also on trial is former radio journalist Joshua arap Sang.
It has been difficult to find out what Mr Kay wants from Safaricom and Airtel because of the veil of secrecy placed around the case.
The original applications are for the cases to be heard in secret.
In the application, Mr Kay sought the following orders from the court: “That the court do make orders for the confidential filing and hearing of the intended constitutional petition to be filed by the petitioner; that the court makes orders for the confidential filing of any application in relation to the said petition; that access to the intended petition and any application to be restricted to the parties to the petition.”
In the petition, Mr Kay seeks “protection of the petitioner’s rights under the Constitution; orders for information; and such other orders as the court may deem fit.”

Monday, 29 July 2013


Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has appealed to America's private sector and government to help Kenya's devolved units succeed by directing investments to Kenya.
While officially opening the meeting between governors from the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy and investors in Dallas, Texas, Mr. Odinga said America has always stood with Kenya at times of significant transition like the one the country is undergoing today.

Mr. Odinga down played the recent decision by President Barack Obama not to visit Kenya saying it did not mean the ties between Kenya and the US had been downgraded.
"The ties between our two countries are strong as they have always been. Don’t worry so much that President Barrack Obama never stepped in Kenya during his recent tour of Africa. I am sure the President appreciates the depth of the ties that bind our people and our countries," Mr. Odinga said.

"The truth is; the boundaries between our people and our countries are overwhelmed by our connections. Kenya’s prosperity will benefit America. Our security certainly contributes to America’s. The steady march of our democracy certainly advances human rights, which is a pillar of America’s value systems," he added.
The former PM said that because America has always stood with Kenya at significant moments, it was "therefore not a surprise" that Kenyan governors are in the US as they seek to implement devolution which he described as, the most significant provision of our new constitution.
He called on US investors to support Kenya's governors by directing investments to various counties saying it would ensure equitable economic growth and create jobs for the youth.
"Governors are at the frontline of our dreams for an equitable society where development opportunities are evenly spread across the country.
They are the most prominent symbols of the new order we are trying to create in Kenya. The Governors are on the ground. They are able to see directly what is working and what is not working, what needs to be retained and what needs to be fixed. Their success will be our success as a country," the former PM said.
"We are at this forum to learn and to seek opportunities for the benefit of our country. I am here to invite the American business fraternity to join us in the exciting but complex journey of taking power to the people through devolution," he added.
Mr. Odinga said CORD prioritized expenditure on social programs that it believes will transform the lives of the people, reduce poverty, improve healthcare and create jobs.
He called for investment in infrastructure, healthcare and education.
"A trained and skilled workforce will attract investments and also ensure the youth are able to compete for and get jobs. At the same time, a good network of feeder roads across our counties, coupled with provision of affordable, reliable, clean and efficient energy together with healthcare will change the lives of our people," Mr. Odinga said.
He said that although education is not entirely under the mandate of county governments, the governors still welcome investments in areas that will promote Early Child Education, create a sound working environment for teachers and proper infrastructure in schools for the pupils.
He called for investment in Agriculture which remains the main source of income for our people.
Mr. Odinga said changing weather patterns across the world, Kenya included, means the sector cannot stand in its traditional form.
"We need to set up more research institutions; to produce more quality and diseases and drought resistant seeds. We need to produce fertilizers and to pursue irrigated agriculture. We also need to process our agricultural produce and package them for the global market. I invite you to partner with us in this too," he said.
Mr. Odinga appealed to the governors to establish linkages and learn from America's long history with devolution, multipartism and the culture of bipartisanship that has enabled decentralization to work in the US.
"Some of the goals we are pursuing back home require that we join hands with colleagues from other parties in a bipartisan manner. Securing Devolution requires that the governors, the senators and Members of Parliament must work hand in hand," Mr. Odinga said.

CORD’s Statement On Attacks On RT. Hon Raila Odinga By Uhuru’s Spokesman

CORD’s Statement On Attacks On RT. Hon Raila Odinga By Uhuru’s Spokesman
We want to begin with disclaimer. We do not know what Mr Muthui Kariuki is in the country, whether he is a legitimate government official and whomhe speaks for.
But we do know that in troubled regimes, such characters, holding amorphous and even non-existent positions, are used to say what only the shameless, the senseless and the desperate can say.
Two days ago, His Excellency Isaac Rutto, the Governor of Bomet reminded us of the terror and tyranny of the likes of Kariuki Chotarausing their amorphous positions in Kanu.
The Governor warned us to be on the look out because those shameless characters, who caused so much pain and destruction in our politics, are being reborn and set loose by Jubilee.
We find it very unfortunate, juvenile and desperate for the government to claim that Rt. Hon. RailaOdinga had the capacity to ferry people to pack a whole football stadium beyond capacity, pay all of them and ask them to shout, to which they all obliged.
This position, stated by a so-called government spokesman, amounts to belittling the intelligence and the feelings of an entire community. It cannot wash.
The Abagusii are hard working, business minded people. They also have a deep sense of social connection. They stand up with and for each other in good and bad times. And they show and express their feelings openly, in broad day light, not in night meetings, and in the best way they believe will drive the point home.
To imply that the people who turned up at Gusii Stadium to mourn and burry their dead were not mourners but political hirelings is an insult and an act of desperation.
We state without fear that MrOdinga was a mourner just like all the others. He neither ferried nor paid anyone. If he got a standing ovation, it was a result of the community’s respect for him. Those who were booed ought to work to earn that respect. Threatening and calling the community names will not help.
The incident in Kisii has given birth to another absurd demand by the government. Because Jubilee team was booed in Kisii, the government has suddenly remembered that former Prime Minister RailaOdinga has not returned government vehicles, that he has a siren and that he has demanded respect.
If a government’s response to a people’s expression of displeasure is to demand vehicles in possession of a former Prime Minister, then it is clear that the government is hitting a deep, troubling and desperate low. In desperation, the government is getting vindictive, vengeful, bitter and angry.
We have seen this vindictiveness directed at the late Senator MutulaKilonzo’s family where Jubilee has sought to destroy the careers, choices and future of the late senator’s children simply because they rejected the Jubilee ticket.
We have seen this vindictiveness against KNUT officials. For the first time, KNUT leaders were handcuffed, and they have been left with heavy fines to pay. We have reason to worry.
Kenyans should be worried that anger and the spirit of revenge are ruling the land.
We wish to remind the government that RailaOdinga was
A co-principal in the Grand Coalition Government. He appointed half the Cabinet, just like MrMwaiKibaki. Raila supervised government. Because of his diligence and dedication, we got a new constitution.
It beats logic, the rule of fairness and justice to demand that MrOdinga surrenders all government vehicles while the man with whom he shared power travels in a bigger fleet.
Even retired President Moi keeps his fleet.
This move is discriminatory and vindictive. We will not accept it. If vehicles are going to be repossessed, they must be repossessed from everyone; from Moi to Kibaki to Raila.
Finally, we wish to remind the government to abandon the thinking that they can put Raila down by denying him priviledges that should be due to him. Raila is a creation of the people, not of the state. Denying him a vehicle, a VIP lounge, a retirement package will not diminish his status.
Do not govern the country in anger. Do not govern with clenched fists. Be fair, be just, respond to the demands of the people of Kenya.

Building of Nairobi’s tallest tower could stall again

PHOTO | FILE An artist’s impression of the planned 39-storey building that is set to be constructed at Hazina Trade Centre, Nairobi. 
PHOTO | FILE An artist’s impression of the planned 39-storey building that is set to be constructed at Hazina Trade Centre, Nairobi.  NATION MEDIA GROUP
Posted  Sunday, July 28  2013 at  21:11
Construction of the National Social Security Fund’s skyscraper on Hazina Trade Centre might once again stall until a row on its compliance with the environmental impact assessment is settled.
Plans to build the 39-storey NSSF tower had earlier hit a brick wall due to a tender dispute.
Speaking at the ground-breaking of Garden City last week, Nairobi County Governor Evans Kidero noted that the fund did not factor in human and traffic volume around the area at the moment before starting the construction.
“I have instructed that in the next two weeks, NSSF should present the validation of environmental impact assessment of the tower, within which construction is not allowed at the site,” said Dr Kidero.
He noted that traders who operate in the area have also not been consulted.
According to Dr Kidero, the building was approved in the 1990’s and re-approved in March save for the environmental impact assessment. He instructed the company to provide documents showing the validation before it can be allowed to continue with the construction.
NSSF had applied for approval from the National Environment Management Authority in 2011, a nod which remains in force for two years, but the governor insists that the approval needs to be reviewed.
“We need to ensure that individuals operating within the location of the construction are safe,” said Dr Kidero.

Study: Methane from melting Arctic could add $60 trillion to climate change bill

A new report by researchers estimates that melting Arctic ice could accelerate global warming enough to tack on an extra $60 trillion to the worldwide cost of climate change. Kathryn Hansen/NASA photo 
 Elizabeth BarberThe Christian Science Monitor

The oil and gas industries in recent years have forecasted profits from easier access to resource fields in the melting Arctic. Northern states have welcomed the trade routes that are emerging from the thick ice’s melt. But those possible boons pale in comparison to the costs that methane emissions from the melting ice could have on the global economy, scientists have found.
The price tag? $60 trillion – or about the size of the entire global economy in 2012 – according to new research that modeled the economic toll that methane gases seeping out of the Arctic will take on the world.
“It's not just bad news for the polar bear,” said Gail Whiteman, a researcher at Erasmus University in the Netherlands and a co-author on the paper, published in Nature. “It’s a global economic time bomb."
The Arctic is thought to contain about 30 percent of the world's undiscovered gas, as well as about 13 percent of its untapped oil. Those economic opportunities have provided major incentives for investment in Arctic oil and gas fields. Lloyd's of London, an insurance company, has projected that investment in the region could reach $100 billion within 10 years.
At the same time, thawing ice has also cleared a route for vessels there during the summer. Arctic shipping is expected to see about 40 million tons a year in 2050.
But those projected figures do not present a full picture of the economic effects of melting in the Arctic, the authors said.
The Arctic ice stores roughly 50 billion tons of methane, a concentrated gas some 20 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Over the past few years, scientists have observed the gas pluming from the region’s thawing ice. That raised the question: even as profits are hauled in from shipping and drilling in the Arctic, could that methane be waiting to undo all those gains? Could the toll far outweigh the rewards of melting Arctic’s ice?
Researchers used what is called the PAGE09 model to assess a broad range of risks arising from methane gas release. Their work is built on the 2006 Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change’s model, which judged the economic effect of extra greenhouse-gas emissions on such factors as sea level rise, temperature, and extreme weather risk. That model found that, as a result of global warming, the world would incur a total cost of $450 trillion by the end of the century.
But seven years ago, there was too little research on methane gas in the Arctic to include its influence on the global economy in the model, Whiteman said. So this time, scientists modeled a 10-year release of the 50-billion-ton methane bubble between 2015 and 2025 and showed the effects of that decade-long burst until 2200. The model was based on the current rate of greenhouse emissions.
The team found that methane release from the melting permafrost beneath the East Siberian Sea would accelerate the rise in temperatures to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels to 2030. That increase in temperatures would cost the world some $60 trillion – a sum almost as large as the size of the entire global economy last year, which totaled $70 trillion.
“Without question there are some gains for some industries and some countries – but that doesn’t take into account climate change’s negative impact throughout the entire world,” said Whiteman.
That $60 trillion sum is a mean number based on the estimated – but still unknown – amount of methane in the Arctic. That puts the lower and upper boundaries of the total cost at $10 trillion and $220 trillion. The model was also based on a 10-year burst of methane beginning in 2015, but when and over what length of time methane seepage might occur is still unknown.
The developing world will be saddled with about 80 percent of the cost: Countries that are poorly insulated from the toll that climate change can take on public health, agriculture, and infrastructure would end up footing the bill, Whiteman said.
“Those places are climate vulnerable and will pick up the price tag,” she said.
Researchers also modeled the damage at a lower rate of greenhouse gas emissions, with a 50 percent chance of keeping global temperatures below the expected 3.6-degree increase from preindustrial levels. Under that model, the temperature increase and its attached price tag would come at 2040, buying five years' time.
“It's a when not an if,” said Peter Wadhams, a professor of ocean physics at the University of Cambridge and a co-author on the study noting that preventing methane leakage would mean lowering CO2 levels to a point that refreezes ice that's melted. “We don’t have a good way of stopping this process. All we can do is find ways to minimize the impact on human life.”
Still, the situation is not hopeless, the authors said. Abating global warming buys time for intensive geo-engineering research into strategies for dealing with methane release, noted Wadhams.
"It's too expensive not to do anything about global warming," he said.
In collaboration with other researchers, the team is next planning to model the broader effects of melting in the entire Arctic. Those effects include ocean acidification, as well as altered ocean and atmospheric circulation. The future model will also deepen an understanding of how methane gas will affect the world, pinpointing the regions and countries that will bear the brunt of its costs and the specific tolls it will take on those economies.

How to Do a Social Media Competitive Analysis

One way to measure your influence in the online marketplace is to do analysis of how your competitors are performing in social media. A competitive analysis is also a good way to identify opportunities for your brand that might be unique for the audience you want to engage with. Standing out, of course, is the goal of brands. Does your brand stand out in social media? A competitive analysis is a good way to find out.
When You Should and Should Not Analyze Your Competitors
While the information gathered and analyzed about how your competitors are performing in social media may be helpful, it's important to pursue this activity with a solid objective in mind. Otherwise, you may become discouraged, frustrated and even angry about how poorly your brand is performing in comparison. The reverse is just as bad. If you do an analysis to prove to yourself how great your brand is doing, you may become comfortable put innovation at risk.
Some worthwhile reasons for doing this type of analysis are:
  1. To get ideas for how your brand can engage in the social media channel
  2. To identify opportunities your competitors may be missing (and therefore your brand can uniquely offer)
  3. To gage how the overall market for your product or service engages in social media or a specific social network
If your objective is not self-serving for your ego, it probably falls within the boundaries of the plausible reasons to take a hard look at your competitors in the social media channel.
Where To Start
The first step is to identify your competitors. Figuring out who they are involves much more than social media and extends far beyond the scope of this article. However, in order to continue, you must at least have a short list of businesses that are fighting for the attention of your potential customers.
Set Your Objective
A clearly defined objective will keep your analysis on track for the duration of the study. I provided three great reasons to do a competitive analysis above. A practical objective that many brands might use today is to determine if my brand should use Google+. 
Choose What to Analyze (And Over What Period Of Time)
There are many ways to analyze your competitors in social media. For our example of Google+, you might analyze type of content shared, functionality used and engagement for each competitor.
For content shared, you could make a list of post types, including pictures, videos, links, text only, or posts shared from another Google+ user.
Parameters for functionality used, in this case, might simply be hangouts with possible values of yes or no.
You'll also want to make a list of engagement KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators. How would you determine success for your brand? This information is what you should measure your competitors against. Some examples for our Google+ example above might be:
  • Shares per post
  • Comments per post
  • +1s per post
Set a specific amount of time that you will gather data from, such as the last 60 or 90 days.
Beware of the hidden KPIs
Engagement KPIs do not tell the whole story. There are some things that you might not be able to measure, but that may indicate success for your competitors. For instance, the revenue or number of page views their links are generating on their e-commerce sites are private metrics that may tell a much different story than the level of engagement they receive.
Make a Spreadsheet
After you have identified your competitors and what data you will analyze, make a spreadsheet that lists each of your competitors and each item you will measure. Compiling all of this information in one data set (or table) will help you look at the big picture when you are complete.
Gather Data & Analyze
Locate your competitor's social media profiles. Meticulously sift through their information to fill out your spreadsheet. Then analyze the data gathered, keeping your original objective in mind.
For our Google+ example above, you may find that you should use the network by embracing the Hangout functionality because all of your competitors neglect this feature. You might also determine that the ratio of engagement to total number people who follow competitor pages indicates that the market is not active enough in the space for you to participate.
When done properly, a competitive analysis takes a lot of time and resources. However, it can expose opportunities for your brand that your competitors may be missing out on (or are executing so well you need to try them yourself). A social media competitive analysis can also help you develop a strategy for your broader social media efforts or choose the tactics your staff should use to improve your KPIs.
Take some time to learn from your competitor's successes and mistakes to improve your own activities.
Image credit: Flickr / FutUndBeidl

21 Tips On How To Write a Blog For Your Business


My father always used to lecture me of getting the foundations right, getting the research or work done so you know what your doing. As a teenager whilst that was good advice I often ignored it and learnt the hard way (luckily no serious damage was done only some minor accidents e.g. a tree house that fell down with friends and me in it), that this approach did make sense despite my impulse to just jump in and do it.
If you want to learn how to write a blog then you need to understand your customers and write content that they are going to find useful and engaging. Do your homework and you will get more traffic, more click and more leads. But it does take time to get it right and for it to be on target with your customers. You need to prepared to make mistakes and learn from them. Here are 21 tips to help you write a blog for your business blog and get better results.
1Targeting Your Customers
how to target customers when business blogging
When you are learning how to write a blog you can easily spread yourself too thin and you will not get the results you are looking for – staying focused is critical.
  • Key action – write down who you key target customer is just one e.g. if BtoB: size of business, number of people, turnover, their sectors, greaography…
  • narrow down your marketing to niche market/market segments – think long tail here
  • Use marketing personas to build out who you are targeting and give them a personality.
  • Use any data you have to support your marketing persona e.g. age, demographic data.
  • Check with others in the business e.g. sales, customer service – that the persona(s) are right.
2Find Them Online
how to focus on your customer when business blogging
Understand where your customers spend time online and you will be able to listen to them and connect in the right places.
3Social Media Listening
how to write a blog and improve how you listen to your customers online for business blogging
Set a budget for the tools – whilst some are free, the better ones do cost but are worth the investment.
4Understand Their Problems
how to write a blog for customers online for your business blog
When you are trying to master how to write a blog always put your self in the shoes of your customers. Listen to their problems – what information are they searching for, what service problems do they have, is their misunderstanding about a product or service, do they have wishlists…
  • Key action – Write a list of the most common problems, gaps in information and issues
  • Prioritise your list
5Identify How You Can Help Them
how to write a blog and get to grips with customers problems when blogging
This is where you need to be realistic and match what you and your business are good at to their problems.
  • Key Action – With the list of problems highlight the ones you are confident that you can write about and fit to your business.
  • Draft a list of ideas around each problem – this will be used later
6Review The Competition
how to write a blog and review competition when business blogging
Take into account what your competition are blogging about, what topics tehy are focusing on
Key actions
  • Identify their key topics e.g. categories on their blog page
  • See what posts have been popular and assess why
  • Identify how you can be different / better than them
  • Don’t be a copy cat
7Identify How You Can Help Them
how to write a blog tell your brand message in your business blog
What do you stand for and why should people follow your – what is the core message that will attract and be relevant to your audience.
Key Actions
  • Develop an easy strap line that helps people understand what your about
  • Build your message into your blogs and communications
8Set Your Goals, Objectives and Metrics
how to write a blog for business content marketing
This is the critical part. If you are going to invest in blogging set your self some clear goals for the results. What do you want to achieve (be realistic) and what business benefit will it deliver e.g. 5 leads per week.
Key Actions
  • Use SMART objectives (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed)
  • Be sure you can measure them
  • Produce a spreadsheet and plan out your targets by week/month and then your results
9Develop Your Strategy and Tactics
set your how to write a blog strategy
Plan in the strategy that is going to work for you – how your blog content fits to your overall marketing plan and communications mix.
Key actions
  • What are the key resources and actions needed to achieve your goals?
  • What are the daily/weekly tasks you are going to schedule?
10Build Your Blog
build out your business blog using wordpress
A good blog needs a good home. Invest in a WordPress blog that is going to fit to your brand and be easy for people to engage with.
Key actions
  • Make sure you choose a responsive theme – the rise of the mobile consumer is here see these stats
  • Build in the styles and design features that can help your blog stand out
  • Blogs are increasing becoming more visual so add in the styling that will help you produce a good visual layout – think more magazine than blog
11Build Out Marketing Functionality
build into your blog the marketing plugins and themes you need
Your blog needs to be able to turn traffic into buying customers and to do that you need to have the right marketing functionality. Looking good is not enough.
Key actions
  • Build in your key conversion points and methods to convert customers
  • Add in tracking e.g. goals so you can measure performance
12Link Your Social and Email
how to write a blog and build in social and email
Key actions:
  • Hook up your blog with your social networks so that people can easily share your content.
  • Also build in your email subscriptions to build your email list.
13Develop Your Editorial Calendar
build your business blog editorial calendar for effective blogging
This is probably on of the most important steps. An editorial calendar will help stay focused and give you a good schedule to work to. It is even more important if you have more than 1 person in your business blogging.
Key actions
  • Be realistic and don’t forget to add in the other content that you are producing
  • Balance out your categories to make it more varied and interesting for your audience
14Research Your Keywords and Phrases
develop the seo that is right for your blog
Key actions
15Develop Your Killer Headlines
how to write a blog killer headlines
Your titles make the difference between a click and no-click a share and just a read. Spend time coming up with awessome titles.
Key actions
Key Actions
  • Think like a magazine editor here
  • Download our content marketing guide and use our list of formulas for killer headlines
16Write Your Blog and Format
how to write a blog and format headlines
Write your blogs and rewrite them. Find your own personal voice and practice – it takes to to develop a writing style that is right for you. Write as if you are talking to your marketing persona and helping them.
Key actions
  • Don’t be afraid – everyone goes through times of uncertainty and doubt when writing. It can be hard but bit by bit you will improve
  • Remember there is only one you and that is unique and special use it to to your advantage and intertwine the personal and business
  • End each post with a call to action or ask for people’s opinions
17Publish To Your Social Networks
publish and market your business blog
You have to promote your blog and ensure it is found.
Key actions
  • Publish to your main social networks and invite comments and feedback
18Respond To Comments
respond to your audience comments
Comments are the gold of blogging and so actively invite comments and always respond promptly to them
  • Use a good commenting system such as Disqus
  • Respond and be helpful, never rude. Remove any spam to keep you blog clean
19Track Your Performance
track the performance of your blog
With each blog post you move one step closer to achieving your goals. Track your metrics and review regularly.
20Rinse and Repeat – Improve
how to improve your business blog
Some blog posts will do well whilst others may not achieve the results you had hoped for. Learn from your spikes and dips and continually refine your editorial calendar to improve titles, content and how you reach and attract your audience. Importantly make sure you are turning your blog into tangible business results.
21Don’t Forget To Enjoy It and Be Creative
how to write a blog and be creative
This may seem obvious but have fun, enjoy it and if you are passionate about helping people and equally enthusiastic about your business your blog will do well. Experiment by adding in different media and help to make your business human. Your customers will appreciate being part of your tribe.

About Coursera ®

About Coursera ®

We believe in connecting people to a great education so that anyone around the world can learn without limits.
Coursera is an education company that partners with the top universities and organizations in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free. Our technology enables our partners to teach millions of students rather than hundreds.
We envision a future where everyone has access to a world-class education that has so far been available to a select few. We aim to empower people with education that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in.

Our Courses

Classes offered on Coursera are designed to help you master the material. When you take one of our classes, you will watch lectures taught by world-class professors, learn at your own pace, test your knowledge, and reinforce concepts through interactive exercises. When you join one of our classes, you'll also join a global community of thousands of students learning alongside you. We know that your life is busy, and that you have many commitments on your time. Thus, our courses are designed based on sound pedagogical foundations, to help you master new concepts quickly and effectively. Key ideas include mastery learning, to make sure that you have multiple attempts to demonstrate your new knowledge; using interactivity, to ensure student engagement and to assist long-term retention; and providing frequent feedback, so that you can monitor your own progress, and know when you've really mastered the material.
We offer courses in a wide range of topics, spanning the Humanities, Medicine, Biology, Social Sciences, Mathematics, Business, Computer Science, and many others. Whether you're looking to improve your resume, advance your career, or just learn more and expand your knowledge, we hope there will be multiple courses that you find interesting.

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Revealed: Threats Of Revolution Sends DP Ruto into panic mood pays URP MPs Kshs.200, 000 to castigate Governor Rutto

Reliable source have confirmed Deputy President William Ruto spent more than five million shillings to mobilize URP Mps to castigate Bomet Governor Isaack Rutto.  The DP who is well known for his kutenda na kufanya motto is said to have offered a high of Kshs 200,000 and a low of Kshs.100,00 to every Mp who joined the press conference, an MP who attended the meeting confirmed.
His revelations were collaborated by an aide to one of the members of parliament who was privy to the goings on, social and political pundit Kimutai Sirma was overwhelmed by the larges displayed by DP Ruto, and immediately sent a tweet and a Facebook post thus;
200k was available for MPs who attended today’s press conference to attack Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto following his remarks that counties should receive 40% of Budget instead of 15%….
Isaack Rutto and Kipchumba Murkomen are at loggerheads with their Jubilee principals due to the positions they have taken on devolution. The two; Rutto and Murkomen, both belong to the Kalenjin dominanted URP wing of the Mt Kenya dominated Jubilee Alliance. The two also occupy sensitive positions with the former chairing the Governors’ summit and the later chairing the senate devolution committee.
It is the youthful senator from Elgeyo Marakwet- the Hon Kipchumba Murkomen, who, few weeks ago, caused a stir when he openly hinted that President Kenyatta and his handlers were using parliament to scuttle devolution. Senator Murkomen enjoys a good rapport with both CORD and Jubilee senators, and he is seen as a rising star in Kalenjin politics! This is where the problem stems.
Isaack Rutto, perhaps the best URP strategist ever, earned accolades in the 10th parliament as one of the best debaters, most informed and straight shooting MPs. It is an open secret that Rutto’s brains are igrained in Ruto’s success; he was the real strategic force behind Ruto.
“We still don’t understand why Isaack chose to be governor, parliament will never be the same again, Isaack was a force in the 10th parliament, he always did his homework well, whenever on the floor of the house you could appreciate both content, confidence and intelligent humour” an MP currently serving his 2nd term said on condition of anonymity.
Governor Rutto and Senator Murkomen are in the front-line in collecting a million signatures to force the Uhuruto government to implement devolution. Events in Kisii where residents are reported to have prepared to lecture the president on the state of devolution and rising tribal appointments may have informed Deputy President’s swift action.
Governor Rutto and Senator Murkomen’s problems started two months ago when it was clear that governors and senators were “listening” to them more than anybody else in Jubilee government, senate speaker Ekwee Ethuro sided with the duo since it became apparent that Statehouse had hatched a plan to systematically undermine the senate and frustrate Devolution.
The supremacy battle between the senate and parliament caused further division, at first given the two’s closeness to the Deputy president , Uhuru, at some point, is said to have tried bringing them closer with the hope that he can win them over. The sweeteners dangled by the president included a daily telephone conversation from statehouse- just to say hi and end with tuko pamoja!.
It is Uhuru’s frequent calls to Murkomen and Rutto that angered Ruto due to the fact that the two were creating a quasi centre of power, that is the genesis of the friction, otherwise Ruto was fully in support of implementation of devolution, he even increased the allocation to counties by Kshs.50billion only to be arm-twisted weeks later by Statehouse operatives.Towards the end of June, Rutto and Murkomen had been declared enemies from within. The president was forced to adopt another strategy, drop the two and play hard on them!
By the beginning of July, the Jubilee propaganda machine - The Jackal News-  announced to all and sundry that the president had declared war on Murkomen and Rutto by extension, it quoted the president warning Murkomen in very certain terms: “either you are with us, or we come for you”.
Here is part of the story carried by the Jackal News on July 1st and which, as usual, the statehouse propagandists gave a sensational sex angle to play on the minds of conservative, family loving Kenyans on the credibility of Murkomen as a leader. It was a classic propaganda!
Kenyatta recently told Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi that Murkomen was treading on dangerous ground. ‘‘Huyo rafiki yako anaitwa Murkomen… mwambie tumemtolea gloves,’’ Sudi told a contact for this website aboard a helicopter to Marakwet over the weekend.
Sudi said the brief conversation took place at JKIA as Kenyatta arrived from Uganda from a summit.

‘‘The president was echoing similar concerns by William Ruto that Murkomen was fighting the government for no fundamental agenda,’’ a source close to the presidency explained.
Governor’s Ruto’s problems emanate from his strong position he has taken together with governors both Jubilee and CORD and that want devolution implemented as per the spirit of the constitution. To re-emphasize his position again, here is how the standard captured his sentiments in reaction to the URP members’ parliament
Ruto is quoted as saying that Governors were working together to ensure devolution works and that there were no engagements or talks whatsoever among them on how political parties are supposed to relate.
Ruto said it was in the authority of Treasury Principal Secretary Dr Kamau Thuge that the government is making arrangements to return roads and rural electrification funds from Counties to the National government and be re-allocated to Kenya Rural Roads Authority and Kenya the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA).
“Kenyans agreed to forget analogue and go digital but no one told them to forget about dialogue. They should not consider dialogue as analogue. If they are digital,” Ruto added.
He said that anyone who wants to roll back the wheels of history will meet Kenyans out in the field and they will have nothing to tell them adding that Jubilee should not forget that 2017 election is closing in.
“Let us focus on implementing devolution and development programs and stop being petty. When we point out issues it does not mean we do not belong to the Jubilee,” Ruto said.
Governor Rutto seem to be all set, in the words of Admiral David Farragut during the Battle of Mobile Bay “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!“.
“We are going on with our plans as there is no indication that the national government is about to respect devolution as expected by Kenyans. Jubilee government seems to want to stagger it for three more years,” said Mr Rutto.
With Ruto spending what to many is a fortune just for a press conference, it is obvious that Murkomen and Rutto and in for a long battle, soon we will read fabricated scandals,investigation and intimidations all geared at silencing them.

Hochleistungstextilien – Sechsmal fester als Stahl

Fast 30 Prozent der weltweiten Textilproduktion entfallen auf technische Gewebe: Innovations- und marktführend sind deutsche Firmen. Deiche aus Stoff etwa sollen schnelleren Hochwasserschutz bieten. Von

Hochwasser interessiert sich nicht für Geschichte. Über 200 Jahre zählt das Dessau-Wörlitzer Gartenreich im östlichen Sachsen-Anhalt. Auf 142 Quadratkilometern beherbergt der zum Weltkulturerbe zählende Landschaftspark etliche Schlösser, Gärten und Kirchen. Und alle waren sie kürzlich von den massiven Hochwasserfluten der Elbe bedroht.
Um die historische Kulturlandschaft zu schützen, war eine Vielzahl von Helfern im Einsatz – und ein Quartett des münsterländischen Textilherstellers Ceno Membrane Technology. Binnen einer Stunde schafften die vier Spezialisten mit ein paar Handgriffen das, wofür ein paar Meter weiter Hunderte von Freiwilligen mehrere Tage geschuftet haben: einen Schutzwall.
Mobildeich nennt sich das System von Ceno. Das Prinzip dahinter ist einfach: Riesige Schläuche aus beschichtetem Polyestergarn werden um das zu schützende Gebäude gelegt und mit Hilfe einer Pumpe mit dem ankommenden Hochwasser gefüllt. Ein Netz und eine Dichtungsplane umhüllen und verbinden die einzelnen Schläuche bis zu einer Höhe von maximal 2,60 Metern.
Durch den Wasserdruck spannt sich das Netz, das hält den Stoff-Deich auch ohne Fundament stabil. 100 Meter dieses Schutzwalls lassen sich binnen einer Stunde aufstellen, verspricht der Anbieter. "Bei einer Höhe von 75 Zentimetern ist das 92 mal schneller als der Verbau von Sandsäcken", wirbt Wolfgang Rudolf-Witrin, der Geschäftsführer von Ceno Membrane Technology.

Daimler und Airbus zeigen Interesse

Umsatz der deutschen Textilindustrie
Foto: Infografik Die Welt Umsatz der deutschen Textilindustrie

Beschäftigte in der deutschen Textilindustrie
Foto: Infografik Die Welt Beschäftigte in der deutschen Textilindustrie
Derlei Werbung scheint nötig. Denn bislang hat die Textilfirma gerade mal zehn Kilometer Mobildeich verkauft. Allerdings ist das System auch erst seit knapp zwei Jahren auf dem Markt. Und in dieser Zeit gab es hierzulande keine gravierenden Überschwemmungen.
Die jüngste Flut dürfte die Kundendatei kräftig erweitern. Rudolf-Witrin jedenfalls berichtet von "locker 100 Anfragen" aus den Hochwassergebieten. Die zuständigen Mitarbeiter seien schon heiser. Mögliche Kunden sind vor allem Kommunen, aber auch das Technische Hilfswerk (THW) und Industrieunternehmen, die ihre Produktion schützen wollen.
Daimler und Airbus zum Beispiel zeigen reges Interesse, berichtet Rudolf-Witrin. Der Ceno-Chef ist zuversichtlich, dass sich der Mobildeich in zwei bis drei Jahren voll etabliert hat und dann zu den Rennern im Sortiment des Mittelständlers gehört.